The next security assistance package for Ukraine will be announced soon, and is anticipated to include increased air defense capabilities for Ukraine.
"As you have seen in previous packages, I think you can expect to see additional air defense capabilities in this one," White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told Reuters.
The decision to send a Patriot anti-air missile system to Ukraine could be announced this week, according to Voice of America’s Pentagon correspondent citing an unnamed U.S. defense official. This report follows similar reports from CNN and Reuters on Dec. 13, citing undisclosed defense officials.
Ukraine has repeatedly asked the U.S. to provide Patriot systems amid devastating Russian missile strikes on the country’s energy infrastructure.
Previously, the Polish government had indicated its readiness to hand over Patriot systems to Ukraine, but the move was blocked by Berlin, which had allocated the systems to the defense of NATO's eastern border.
On Dec. 16, Russia launched its seventh missile strike against Ukraine, firing 76 cruise missiles at the nation's energy infrastructure. 60 missiles were shot down by Ukrainian air defense, but both infrastructure and residential buildings were nonetheless damaged in numerous regions of Ukraine.